|—||Engineers are catching rainbows: Material that slows light opens new possibilities in solar energy, other fields (via amalucky)|
Chris Klapper: Prana
PRANA consists of approximately 2000 hand-cast sphere-like shapes, spanning a 20-foot wall. Using light as its medium, PRANA translates various breathing responses to express the subtle interactions of life in its physical form. The installation utilizes a network of sensors by digital techniques and programmed processes to convey changes in the physical environment and interactions encountered with its audience. During this exchange, breath creates an intimate relationship between the viewer and the piece. PRANA, Sanskrit for “breath,” is responsible for the beating of the heart and bringing life to every cell throughout the circulatory system. The project becomes a statement on the interconnectedness of all things in nature, and in life. It is a sculptural installation constructed into an organic whole. The community and PRANA mutually engage in a physical conversation through both art and technology.
Partnered with Electrical Engineer Jen Lusker to create Prana.
Computerbasedmath.org — the radical mathematics education reform organization — has its first guinea pig: Estonia.
Computerbasedmath.org was founded by Conrad Wolfram, the brother of Stephen Wolfram, the man who created the Mathematica software platform and the Wolfram Alpha search engine. The organization wants students to use computers to explore mathematical concepts instead of having kids spend time solving quadratic equations or factoring polynomials. The aim is to provide a deeper understanding of the material, rather than rote memorization of the steps required to solve problems.
Synthetic biology seeks to bring concepts from electronic engineering to cell biology, treating gene functions as components in a circuit. To that end, researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge have devised a set of simple genetic modules that respond to inputs much like the Boolean logic gates used in computers. (via How to turn living cells into computers : Nature News & Comment)
In 1900, Max Planck solved a long-standing problem of physics by suggesting that the energy of light emitted by a body of matter was described by a simple equation E = hν. (Energy equals a constant h times the frequency of the light.) (The symbol ν is the Greek “nu,” which often means frequency.) This finding was the beginning of quantum mechanics.
But why? Planck showed that matter at a given temperature does not emit or absorb light continuously, but instead only in discrete quantities of hν. The constant h is quite small, so the discrete quantities allowed light are quite small, too. Still, light cannot have any value of energy. Einstein then postulated that this minimum quantity of light moved only in one direction, like a particle. This is a quantum of light, and was named a photon.